The HerbDay in Oregon event seed germinated in the mind of Nicki Neilson for many years, encouraged by the desire for community sharing and empowerment. After studying herbs for over 20 years, and knowing of the HerbDay organization, the sprout popped out of the seed one Winter day in 2016 and event planning began with assistance from many local herb enthusiasts.
For the first event, Nicki’s farm, Lovelight Herb Farm, was the obvious choice for a small-ish celebration. It was a glorious 85F day with a larger than expected turnout of about 125 people. Vendors lined the driveway, the kid’s dome was in the front yard, a Labyrinth was laid out back; we had 2 large tents set up for speakers, a raffle for fundraising, and free tea was available. Musicians entertained us all day from the gazebo.
In 2017, the celebration was moved to the Central Grange in Veneta to expand and further engage the local community. This move gave us double the parking, indoor bathrooms and a kitchen for the free tea; we gained indoor vending space and more shaded outdoor spaces, and we were able to plug in a food truck for snacks. The addition of co-host Annie Molnar, from Bella’s Soap Box, was a great boost for the event, as well as having Sponsorships.
During the post-event assessment in 2017, we decided to formally organize into a business structure, and, drumroll, please .,.,.,.,.,.,.,. we are now organized as BotanicFest and will be presenting the HerbDay Celebrations each year, as well as potentially many more botanical themed events!
HerbDay 2018 planning is underway and we are super excited to have our new organization and new activities!